Spending money on sponsorships can quickly get out of hand if you don’t have a plan. As an architect, engineer, or contractor, you probably receive many requests for sponsoring golf tournaments, school or hospital foundation events, chamber functions, non-profit fundraisers and client-focused associations and conferences… just to name a few!
Your marketing plan should include the list of sponsorships you want to support each year, which shouldbe targeted toward your clients and prospects. Most sponsorships center around an event, so make sure as part of the deal you are receiving tickets/passes to that event. This allows you to be “in front” of your clients and prospects. If a ticket/pass isn’t included, request that to be part of your sponsorship. You will get a lot more out of your investment by attending the event, because you’ll be able to network and have valuable conversations with all the attendees.
There are many ways to get involved in various events. Some ideas include:
There are going to be some sponsorships you simply won’t be able to attend (for scheduling reasons), But if you’re able, secure a larger, more prominent sponsorship that gives you increased visibility. You’ll receive a better return on your investment if you do 2-3 larger sponsorships rather than 15-18 smaller sponsorships. Again, the key is making sure they are targeted to your clients and prospects.
Many times, by talking to the sponsorship entity/organizer, you can customize your own sponsorship. This is even more impactful, because you can create something unique to you with your company’s brand all over it. Think outside the box here. If you’ve previously attended this event, then perhaps you have an idea how it can be improved. Bring that idea to the organizer and tell them if you’re a sponsor, you want to make this happen for their event.
For example, if you’re sponsoring the beverage cart at a golf tournament, see if a representative from your company can drive the cart (or even just accompany the person driving). In many cases, you can also use this opportunity to hand out your branded swag items. Another suggestion is if you sponsor the happy hour or networking session at a conference, attend it in person and give out promotional products. This gives you a chance to interact directly with many of the attendees — and let’s face it, people always enjoy free things!
Non-profits are always in need of sponsorships. They have a board of directors (made up of prominent, decision-making business people) who are going to be exposed to your company. As an owner, you may just have a special place in your heart for a particular organization, because it’s had a direct impact on a family member or employee. It’s a great idea to support that organization, even though it’s not directly related to a client or prospect. Just don’t go overboard and spread yourself thin by supporting too many.
Being strategic and intentional with your sponsorship dollars is being a smart business person. Put together your list and try to stick with it. When other organizations call for last-minute sponsorships, you can always tell them that you’ve allocated your sponsorship budget but you’ll keep it in mind for next year. It’s an honest answer and helps you save time with considering another sponsorship.
nu marketing is a strategic business and marketing planning company who can help take your company to the next level. We help all sizes of architecture, engineering, and construction firms with their marketing and business development services. Call or email us today to learn more.